picture of the day

Return to Earth

26 Comments

The crew of the space shuttle Discovery stand on the runway after landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla, on Tuesday. From left: mission specialist Clay Anderson, Japan Aerospace Exploration agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, mission specialists Stephanie Wilson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Rick Mastracchio, pilot James Dutton Jr and commander Alan Poindexter.

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26 Comments
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What a shot!

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Chillin...Glad they had a safe trip.

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nice pic, awesome....

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Mission Accomplished.

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Wow, awesome. Welcome back home...

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Okaeri Nasai!! Naoko is the only one without a pair of shades...

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Welcome back to earth, ladies & gentlemen.

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I agree what a shot and welcome back.

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Very nice, very nice.

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The perspective of the shuttle and astronauts is what makes this an eye-catching photo.

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Do I detect some volcanic ash on that shuttle? Wouldn't affect the shuttle since it's a glider all the way down.

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Super photo! Welcome home folks.

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What a great photo opportunity for all concerned. :)

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Just good to have these folks back on the deck in one piece.

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Totally awesome shot and with cost constraints they will have to wash that baby themselves.

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Poindexter! LOL

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Fantastic shot, and @bobbafett, I think it'd be cool to take the Space Shuttle down to the local car wash for a polish.

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Somehow I am reminded of the last scene of "Ghostbusters". It's Miller Time.

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the space station is only 200 miles away and firmly in the grips of earth's gravity. 40 years ago they landed on the moon which is 240 000 miles away and then came back (apparently). It's hardly been a great leap forward has it.

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They landed on the moon - which is firmly in the grip of Earth's gravity - and hurried back within a week because staying there meant suffocation. The ISS has been continuously in operation since it was first opened for business. That's a great leap forward.

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Okaeri Nasai!! Naoko is the only one without a pair of shades...

Not exactly true, they are on her hat.

But what a great shot - really looks like a rough re-entry judging by the state of the 'ship. Wonder what that feels like? Turbulence of the extreme kind?

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Welcome home. Awesome.

Taka

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I wonder if you could still BBQ something on those black tiles right after the shuttle lands... I'm just saying, BBQ and a beer would go great after a great landing. Welcome back to terra firma.

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Too bad with the current administration's planned cuts and 're-prioritization' of NASA's mission that there will be fewer of these great shots to come.

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They're silicon tiles and all that grey stuff is silicon ash from re-entry. I'm not sure I'd want my steak with silicon ash grilled into it. :-p Fire up the hibachi, Yamazaki-san!

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Too bad with the current administration's planned cuts and 're-prioritization' of NASA's mission that there will be fewer of these great shots to come.

Actually, the plan to end the shuttle flights was made under the previous administration. The shuttles are getting old; time to focus on new technology development before aiming for Mars.

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